Country borders are merely lines on a piece of paper when it comes to likeminded people. And as for finding fellow musicians, those essential unifying qualities know no specific nationality.
Qualities like an earth-shattering love for heavy, soul-stripping music; an unhealthy fascination with death and the beyond; and the almost animal-like need to maintain some kind of freedom within the incarceration of society and its petty social rules.
All of this lives and thrives within The Oath. Made up by members from Germany, Sweden, France and the United States – the band got together in Berlin in the autumn of 2012.
Guitarist Linnéa Olsson – known from underground darlings Sonic Ritual – had left Stockholm earlier that year to seek inspiration in the mythically rebellious and decadent German capital city. A punk guitarist at heart, her riffs are to the point, driven by a dark but catchy undercurrent, and her influences range from Slash to Fast Eddie Clarke to Steve Jones to Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin. After six months in Berlin, the ideas were piling up and it was then she met the magnetic vocalist Johanna Sadonis. Things fell into place with instant magic.
Johanna, a native Berliner, grew up on her parents’ diet of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and Heart. As a teenager, she became immersed in the extreme metal scene, robbing graveyards and sneaking into mortuaries to the soundtrack of Scandinavian death and black metal. After stints in several bands, and living in Norway and Los Angeles, she returned to Berlin and founded the infamous Kill ‘Em All club – single-handedly supplying the city with the best old school metal in the world.
Together, along with Parisian psychedelic bassist Simon Bouteloup (Kadavar, ex-Aqua Nebula Oscillator) and drummer Vincent Wager, they set out to create a hard rock band that would be raw, exciting, dark, dirty, catchy and loud. Naming some of their main influences Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Angel Witch, Saint Vitus, Led Zeppelin, Venom, Blue Öyster Cult, Trouble and The Runaways, lyrically they center their material to topics of death, doom, drugs and the dream realm.
Says Linnéa: “Our songs are basically 1980’s riffs mixed with 1970’s vocals, or the other way around. Some of it is classic hard rock, some of it is pure speed metal. But regardless if you listen to Rainbow or Bathory, there is a certain nerve in the music that is more important than the genre. The Stooges had it. Killing Joke has it. Voivod has it. If you know what I’m talking about, I think you will like The Oath.”
The Oath’s debut 7” single (out June 7 on High Roller Records in Europe, and July 2 on Electric Assault Records in North America) immediately earned them the title of “Band of the Week” by underground connoisseur Fenriz of Darkthrone.
No-fuss hard rock track “Night Child” has a vocal melody that will stick in your head like leeches to a jugular vein, supported by an upbeat proto-doom guitar riff, whereas
“Black Rainbow” is drenched in NWOBHM and first wave of black metal.
The Oath will enter the studio at the end of the summer to record their debut album.
Berlin is burning, come kiss the fire.
Johanna Sadonis – Vocals
Linnéa Olsson – Guitars
Simon Bouteloup – Bass
Vincent Wager – Drums